UK football: Promising running back Mobley leaves; Dupree to return

jsmith3@herald-leader.comDecember 13, 2013 Updated 19 hours ago

Dyshawn Mobley, a running back who showed loads of promise at the end of Kentucky's season is leaving the program, officials confirmed on Friday.

UK did not elaborate on the reason that the 5-foot-11, 209-pound sophomore is departing, nor what his future plans are.

Through a spokesman, Coach Mark Stoops only said: "I thank Dyshawn for his contributions to the team during his time here and wish him the best in his future."

Mobley was not an integral part of the offense until the final two games of the season, when he ran 27 times for 235 yards. For the season, he had 43 carries for 300 yards and the big 69-yard touchdown run at Georgia.

He was a key contributor on special teams for UK with 14 tackles and a recovered fumble.

For his Kentucky career, Mobley had 84 carries for 484 yards and a touchdown.

The Milan, Tenn., native, who set a state single-season rushing record with 3,068 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior, had drawn high praise from his coaches after the 2-10 season ended.

"I love the way he's playing," Stoops said of Mobley after the Tennessee loss. "He's going all out and it's good to see. He's got great passion for the game. You could see that when he's going down there and busting his hump on special teams and doing all those good things."

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown seemed optimistic about Mobley, who had hernia surgery in the preseason that set him back, becoming a "big-time factor for us moving forward" as he developed more consistency.

"He's gotta be more consistent in his pass protection," Brown said. "He practiced better the last three or four weeks. That's encouraging."

As Mobley started shining on special teams, Stoops joked in a news conference that if the running back didn't get more carries he was going to move him to defense.

The head coach backed away from that comment by the end of the season, though.

"Again, that's something we'll address in the off– season and talk with him," Stoops said when asked about the potential position switch. "I don't like talking about that publicly. That's a compliment to me when you're just simply saying he's a good football player, and we need to find a way to get him on the field."

Dupree will stay

Junior defensive end Alvin "Bud" Dupree took to Twitter to announce his plans to come back for his final season at Kentucky and not enter the 2014 NFL Draft early.

"I wanted to help Coach Stoops with the program," Dupree said in a release. "Coming back another year can help me be a higher draft pick, and I have a goal of graduating in December (2014)."

Dupree led all Southeastern Conference defensive linemen with 61 tackles this season. He also had a team-best seven sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss.

Dupree's defensive line counterpart ZaDarius Smith has not announced his intentions per the NFL Draft. UK spokesman Tony Neely said Friday that Smith is still "going through an evaluation process" on that. He has to declare for the draft by Jan. 15.

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com.

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